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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Vasily Smyslov
Smyslov - Botvinnik World Championship Rematch (1958), Moscow URS, rd 4, Mar-13
Gruenfeld Defense: Russian. Smyslov Variation (D98)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-20-08  Knight13: Barely are there any games where the queen mess around in the opening and nothing interesting happens.
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  WCC Editing Project:

<Botvinnik's> narrative about this eventful game:

<" the next game, the 4th- it was adjourned in a <<<winning position>>> for Smyslov...">

Adjourned position- (Source: -Mikhail Botvinnik, "Three World Chess Championship Matches: 1954, 1957, 1958" I.Y. Botvinnik, ed., Steve Giddins transl. (New in Chess 2009), pp.203-204)

Botvinnik sealed <45.Kc3>:

click for larger view

-<"...In addition I had become unwell, and Senkevich [the official match doctor] advised me not to show up for the resumption... Of course, I couldn't accept this suggestion, since to miss the resumption was not sensible- all the same this would be recorded as a time-out, and in one just one day I would not get better.. <<<I preferred to play (seeing as the position was hopeless, I would only have to make a few moves),>>> and to use the illness certificate the following day, a Saturday- then I would also be able to stay in bed on the Sunday (the adjournment day) and the Monday (a rest day)- and all for one time-out. Of course, the doctor couldn't object to such a decision... On the resumption, against expectation, I had to make not a few moves, but as many as 40! My opponent committed two inaccuracies and missed the win.">

Mikhail Botvinnik "Botvinnik's Complete Games (1942-1956) and Selected Writings (Part 2)," pp.33-34

-According to Botvinnik, the losing inaccuracy:


click for larger view

<"Missing the win, because now White manages to regroup. Immediately after the game, Smyslov pointed out <<<the winning move 55...h5,>>> which creates a zugzwang (56.Ke3 c3! 57.bxc3! Ke6 and... Kd5). Black instead decides to exchange the c4 pawn for that on g3, but this only leads to a draw...">

VARIATION: position after the suggested winning line 55...h5 56.Ke3 c3! 57.bxc3! Ke6-

click for larger view

-Mikhail Botvinnik, "Three World Chess Championship Matches: 1954, 1957, 1958," pp.204-205

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: This was game 4. Smyslov had lost the first three. I am sure he was upset at only drawing this game. Not a good start for a WC match.
Feb-21-16  Howard: Plus, as Botvinnik later remarked, Smyslov scored one point more than Botvinnik in the games after Game 3, but what good did that do him ?
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